I read a fair amount of food writing (slight understatement), and I know I saw something about pickling this or that in Food and Wine at some point. And, there was an article about preserving vegetables in olive oil in La Cucina Italiana which isn’t pickling but had me thinking preservation at any rate. I also have several different cut out pages filed away about quick pickling and the like. All of that got mushed together in my head and when I picked up our CSA vegetables last week, the idea of pickling was on my mind. Well, the kind fellow from Hands of the Earth helped me bag up my portion and made a joke about everyone getting tired of the daikon radishes. I said something about I didn’t mind them, and then he said “you should pickle them.” Yes. I’d been thinking about pickling, and that cemented it.
I referred to a few different sources, which were all about the same, and in the end did this:
2 medium daikon radishes, cleaned and chopped into 1" chunks
6 watermelon radishes, cleaned and cut to similar size as daikon chunks
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 sprigs fresh dill
2 c white wine vinegar
2 1/4 c water
3 T kosher salt
1 t black peppercorns
1 T pickling spice (a combination of allspice, coriander, rosemary, dill, chili pepper, cloves, bay leaves, celery seeds)
- combine vinegar, water, salt, and pickling spice in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil
- place daikon, watermelon radishes, onion, and dill in a large, heat-proof mixing bowl; pour boiling vinegar and water mixture over vegetables; let cool and transfer to an airtight container; store in the refrigerator up to three weeks
The radishes are crisp, vinegary, salty, and addictive. They’ll be great offered up with some olives and cornichons or on the side with a salad. Coming to think of it, I have a thing for veggie burgers and eating little briny bites like olives and pickles with them. Pickled radishes and veggie burgers may become a new favorite pairing.
Note: After a few days in the refrigerator, everything in the jar has turned pink due to the watermelon radishes. The initial, multi-colored look was nice, but pink is pretty too, and it tastes just as good.